3123 White Stag, 14th
Cairos looked up from his reports as Artivan walked out of the office muttering about people skills and how he should try to gain some. Cairos shook his head and looked down at the diagram he had next to the reports he had just finished. Things had been very calm since the incident with the new Builder faction, and maybe now was the time to start the project he had been planning. If anything were to happen in this area as an attack, the people in Sog were going to be caught in the middle as they had been in Stoon. He had read the reports that the others had written about that time and was concerned about the lack of organization in the rout from Stoon. Cairos nodded to the empty room and picked up the diagram and notes. Now was the time.
Magpie was carrying his stolen suit of Arcfire Plate Mail and some tools over his back as he saw Artivan walking out of Ranger headquarters. Kassegore tried to stop him to ask a question and Artivan snapped something Magpie couldn’t make out and pushed past him. This wasn’t an unusual sight but Kassegore seemed surprised so Magpie walked over. “What was that about?” Magpie knew his Dregordian was horrible but also knew that the more he spoke it with Kassegore and The Beast that it was improving.
Kassegore looked Magpie over and while he seemed slightly interested in the sack of armor he gestured with his head towards Artivan and replied in the same tongue “Artivan is going to try and learn speaking skills and how to persuade people to do what he wants instead of just yelling at them.” Kassegore let Magpie see a rare grin “5 silver says he hits the first person he tries to talk to.”
Magpie knew that the grin was because of Kassegore wanting to see Artivan strike out at something and he grinned back having that image in his mind. “Sounds good to me.” They followed Artivan as he started to wander towards the local church of light. Artivan kept back from people mostly, walking up to Sky and Salvatore as Salvatore coached Sky through getting over her fear of missing limbs. Artivan stood by and listened as Salvatore discussed what having a missing limb means to a person, and how it reduces their capabilities. Artivan suggested Ma’ani when Salvatore had her start approaching people with missing limbs and she seemed to be getting better at being near such things as long as she wasn’t surprised by them.
Kassegore turned to Magpie as Artivan looked over at them and handed over the coin. “Worth it. But I am certain he will hit something before the week is out.”
As Artivan walked over Magpie grinned “I won’t take that bet.” Artivan managed to reach Magpie as Kassegore walked off and raised his eyebrows. “We had a bet going on whether you would punch the first person you tried to interact with or not.” A look of surprise followed by slight disdain/disbelief crossed his face and it was Magpie’s turn to raise his eyebrows. Artivan looked from Magpie’s face to Kassegore’s retreating back and snorted, shaking his head as he nodded and continued down the street towards the church.
Magpie walked down to the Heroes’ Hart, following Kassegore’s path, and claimed a table in a back corner of the tavern. As he started unloading his bag he saw Kassegore talking animatedly with Cairos and one of the Goblinesh Leaders about some sort of training games for the local populace to get them prepared for battle whenever it comes down on Sog, or at least get some of them capable of leading the populace. By the time they left to start putting these plans into action and gathering people for their training games Magpie found that he had a helper in setting up his armor. Grak, the Builder who had come back with Sky was looking over the armor he had. While Magpie kept focusing on the Arcfire pieces and the Crysalites, Grak kept pushing Crysalites aside and pointing him to focus on the actual armor pieces. After Magpie and Grak had gotten all of the pieces lined up where they should be Grak made a point to get Magpie’s attention on the non-shiny-Crysalite portions of the armor.
Grak got fed up with Magpie after a short time and left once everything was set up. Magpie shook his head as Grak walked off. He knew from some of Sky’s comments that Grak had managed to get her interested in using Arcfire equipment and that she seemed to want to follow Magpie into an Arcmancer role. Magpie’s mind filled with images of Aevakar flying into battle against Childer and Wing hunters, all wearing Arcfire armor and wielding Arcfire weapons. His brain summoned an image of an Arcfire bow and he shivered as he thought of the possibilities such a weapon could offer. Shaking his head to clear it of the images Magpie shoved that thought into the back of his mind to simmer while he glanced over his current project. He had turned his attention back to his work just in time to catch Nightingale trying to make off with one of his larger Crysalites and called her back over. He convinced her to give it back, promising her a shiny crystal once he had finished building the armor.
As Magpie worked on the armor, modifying pieces here and there to be lighter, removing metal from the back to provide spaces for his wings and adding entirely new pieces for his wings so that they were partially protected as well, he heard the trainees start to assemble outside. He heard Cairos tell the assembled to gather in the morning outside the Hart to begin training as Rok-tar held the door open to observe. Listening to the plans for these training exercises Magpie knew that they would make the perfect testing ground for his armor if he could get it assembled in time.
Rok-tar came over to Magpie as the locals had started to disperse through town back to their homes. “You planning to stay here and finish this tonight?”
Magpie looked up with a couple of wires and a slightly sparking Crysalite hanging from his lips. “Mp-phn-ghph” and he shrugged. Rok-tar laughed and told Magpie that he was locking up but that he could have one of the rooms upstairs if he needed to sleep, but that there was a new Dwarf in the closest room that Magpie wasn’t to bother. Magpie waved his acknowledgement and went back to work on the armor.
Come morning Rok-tar unlocked the front door and peered into the common room. As he opened some of the windows and moved through he noted Magpie sleeping in the same corner he’d been working in the night before. Rok-tar walked over and looked down on the armor laying on the table, letting out a low whistle. Magpie jerked awake, sending a shoulder guard flying into the table next to him. “Good morning Magpie. I see you’ve had a busy night.”
Magpie shook himself as Rok-tar picked up the shoulder piece and rubbed his eyes “yea. I was seeing everything coming together and felt that I shouldn’t stop.” He took the shoulder guard and laid it next to the rest of the pieces and stepped back with Rok-tar. He heard a shuffle behind them and turned to see Grak looking down on his work with a critical eye. Grak nodded and grunted something in his native tongue before patting Magpie on the shoulder and walking out of the tavern. “I do believe he needed my work to finish figuring out how to modify the armor for Sky.”
Rok-tar chuckled and headed towards the kitchen “Probably. Their kind hasn’t had to deal with wings too much I’d wager.” By the time Rok-tar brought out some food for Magpie to eat he found a newly equipped Magpie. The armor was black as a midnight sky with stars dotted over it, some bright Crysalites, some were shards of other gems, and some merely dots in the armor that made the armor appear as if the stars sparkling in it were really there. Magpie turned to face Rok-tar and he could see some constellations that he knew and spotted a Crysalite centered on his chest that appeared to replicate the moon and knew that this project had been a long time in the making. “And how long have you been at this?”
Magpie smiled and stretched his wings, the stars twinkling along the guards on his wing-bones. “I have been working on this, and admittedly the look of it more than the application, since we came north from the Siege of Thulls. I took the armor I modified off of an Arcmancer there when I took this blade.” He drew his Arcblade which Rok-tar immediately recognized despite the fact that the blade had been cosmetically modified to match the armor Magpie was wearing. “I’ve been collecting gems and Crysalites and studying some of the artisans, both locally and on our way north, to figure out how I could make these look like the night sky.” Magpie then looked at the food Rok-tar was holding. He sheathed his sword and sat at the table. “If I could eat before I join the group training I’d appreciate it.” As Rok-tar set the food in front of him Magpie handed him a gold coin “and thanks for letting me stay here to work on it last night.”
Rok-tar pocketed the coin and shrugged “It didn’t hurt me any to do so, and I am glad you managed to get that all put together finally. Should be fin watching you among the others today.” Magpie nodded as he dug into the food and Rok-tar walked away to get the tavern up and running.
Once he finished he took his plate towards the kitchen and one of the serving girls stopped him. “I’ll take that Hun, I heard what you said earlier so you get out there and show those Goblinesh a trick or two.” And she swatted him out the door. Magpie chuckled and took flight, spotting the gathering from the air he glided over to them and circling as the groups went through mock raids and combats against each other. When it looked like one group was finished for the moment Magpie dropped down in front of the groups and heard Cairos muttering “Why did I do this? Why did nobody stop me from doing this?” as he watched Kassegore intimidate his troops into the proper formation for a surprise strike on one of the other groups who was already taking on the other half of his forces on another side.
Magpie giggled “we wanted to gamble on the outcome.” Cairos looked at him “But it does look to be going very well and is working to get the locals organized and used to such things.” Cairos looked at Magpie then shook his head and walked down the hill to gather everyone for their final discussion and signing the locals up for repeat practices. Cairos apparently still thought that the training sessions were a good idea and seemed to be moving forward regardless of the outcome from this experiment. Though Magpie could see that the Goblinesh who had not participated in these Games had clearly been enjoying themselves. He spotted one Orc that he knew to be a proponent of giving military training to all Goblinesh nodding as he listened to Cairos from the crowd, and when his compatriots looked to leave the Orc nudged them and they all went down to sign up for Cairos’s regular training sessions.
Magpie took flight again as everyone dispersed and the Rangers all seemed to be heading to the Heroes Hart Inn. He dropped down next to Kassegore who was walking towards Ranger headquarters. “Questions I have for you, winged thief.”
Magpie shrugged at Kassegore’s blunt use of his previous profession. “It might be that I can answer them, but perhaps we should wait for these questions until we are somewhere more private?” Kassegore nodded and led the way into his office in Ranger HQ.
Kassegore then pulled out a list of businesses and locals and laid it down in front of Magpie. “These businesses and people have skills or supplies that we might be able to use but I need to know more about them.” Magpie nodded and looked over the list. He then spent a small portion of the afternoon editing the list Kassegore had to remove a few names and add a few more, all the while providing what information he knew he could share on some of his friends, but truly peaking Kassegore’s interest with information on competitors and other businesses that had bad relations with him because of the detail with which he could outline their operations in both the legitimate and illegitimate sectors.
Kassegore looked over the list and nodded before asking Magpie to accompany him in a few visitations on their way to the Hart. They stopped in a couple of the illegitimate businesses on their way and managed to solidify more support for the Rangers among them, and mend a few fences between them and Magpie so that those relations would continue to be positive. As they reached the Hart Kassegore asked if Magpie would assist with that in the future if he wanted to have a thief he could trust to help him with his underworld dealings and Magpie nodded, then winked and launched into flight up over the Hart.
Magpie flew in through the kitchen so that the serving maid would chase him out into the common room and grinned as the commotion of that brought everyone’s attention to the sparkling of his armor. He saw that Sky took one look at him then turned back to Grak. Surprised Magpie walked over to Sky and then noticed that Grak was trying to teach her the basics of Arcmancy.
Turning back to the inn Magpie spotted Kassegore drinking near the bar and walked over to him. He passed Artivan who was talking with a new Dwarf whom Magpie assumed to be the Dwarf Rok-tar had mentioned the night before about Valitor. When he got to Kassegore he could feel the Dregordian’s measuring stare. He stopped and drew his blades, to which Kassegore grinned freely and grabbed his Kaiakore. They jumped up onto the long table in the middle of the room and started a dance of blades and counters, proceeding to entertain everyone in the bar as they dodged and jumped, adding acrobatics to the combat of their performance. At the end of the fight it was clear that Magpie and Kassegore had come out of the fight evenly matched.
Cairos came out of a discussion at that point with Salvatore and came over to Magpie and Kassegore. Kassegore turned to him as he walked up “We managed to secure more support for the Rangers among a few local businesses” then he handed over the list to Cairos.
Cairos looked it over “this should up our financial capabilities greatly!” He noted Magpie’s peaked interest at this and turned the list over. They watched as he scribed a document that would give the Rangers of Sog a pay boost and would also give Kassegore a promotion. He then looked at Kassegore then looked back into the room. Magpie watched with a grin on his face as Cairos included Salvatore and Sky in his list of promotions. Then Cairos walked over to Artivan who was raising a toast and they watched Artivan sign the document before calling out a drink for everyone in the bar on him.
Magpie then walked over to Artivan and despite feeling a little fatigued from his fight with Kassegore challenged Artivan to a duel stating “I need to learn more varied fighting styles!” Artivan laughed at this and picked up a pot lid and a fire poker.
“Come at me then Magpie!” Magpie launched his attack and Artivan nimbly blocked, parried, blocked, then grabbed the front of Magpie’s armor and pulled him into a head-but. Magpie woke to the new Dwarf shoving a Dwarven Brandy down his throat and he sputtered as his head exploded with an instant headache followed by a dulling of the pain and its replacement with a state of drunkenness.